How to Create Your ‘Success Plan’

Lynda Hoffman is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Through her business, Lynda Hoffman Life Coaching, she coaches passionate and self-directed business professionals - with or without ADHD - who want to create meaningful personal and organisational change. Lynda partners with clients to increase their personal agency and strategic decision-making. Her extensive experience in the field of executive functioning and mindfulness training supports clients in understanding how their brain functioning informs their behaviour - and how to change what needs changing. She encourages her clients to do the deeper work to create transformational change – the kind that lasts.

How do you help your clients with creating their ‘success plan’?

Every client is unique. They are the ones in charge of identifying what will define their success and how they’ll know they’ve reached it. And it’s not static. Creating a clear plan begins in our first coaching session and every session thereafter. The topics they bring are organic, and they change week to week. My role is to hold their larger goals in mind so that we’re in clear agreement at every step about how we define ultimate success. The Success Plan IS the coaching. And always, the progress is astounding. My clients are often surprised by how far they’ve come. They improve in places they never thought possible.

This is the beauty in coaching: the client’s evolution, flow and creativity. Each client has an innate wisdom, a radar for where they need to go. And if it doesn’t seem to line up consistently with their original goal, that radar always brings them to something deeper. They may very well find that the original objective they came in with may change between the first day and the last day of coaching. It is precisely this deeper awareness that leads to transformational change.

I ensure my client is on track to success by reflecting patterns they may not be seeing. I use their language. I highlight what they’re not talking about. I inquire gently about the inconsistencies in their story, and I help them identify what it is they’re believing about themselves that keeps them from being the leader they truly want to be. I stay out of the way. I hold up the mirror so that they see where they’re powerful – and where they play small. Every time this happens, the client becomes stronger, more self-confident and self-directed.

A great success plan begins with the relationship between my clients and me. We need to be transparent, comfortable and enthusiastic about all that is going to take place. A great coach-client relationship is the magnet for drawing forward great outcomes. 

What’s your take on New Year’s resolutions?

New Year’s Resolutions are a good start. But by themselves, they’re not enough to create sustainable change. New Year’s Resolutions tend to fail because there’s a poor understanding of the goal in the first place. There is always a ‘want-behind-the-want’ that we need to identify in order to successfully create change. Losing weight is never just about losing weight. The underlying desire may be about emotional fulfilment or self-love. Until you get to that deeper want, the goal will flounder on the rocks of distraction. It’s hard to stay focused on your New Year’s Resolution when something else (more interesting) comes along at the moment. When you are absolutely clear about what is driving your ‘want’, you are much better able to create change.

I do value reflection. Ideally, it’s something you do daily. “Am I on track?” “Does this align with what I most want in my business?” “What would be a huge win for me this year?” “What’s my intention for today?”

So while New Year’s is one opportunity to reflect, it should by no means be the ONLY time we think about what we want. I encourage all of us to take time to consider whether our actions align with what we truly, deeply desire. And if not, reflect some more on what needs to change – before the year is out!

Success in business is about much more than making the numbers work. It’s an expression of who you are. How you show up.

What are your top tips on leading a happy and fulfilled life – both at the office and in your personal life?

Actually, almost no one comes to me to ask for a happy life. They ask for what’s meaningful to them: improved follow-through, self-confidence, skills for navigating conflict in the workplace. It’s as if they’ve already intuited what positive psychology has proven leads to fulfilment: engagement, self-compassion, meaning, agency.

My clients know what they want. They may not know the exact concrete view of what they want, but they know that the yearning they experience is guiding them toward something more meaningful. They tell me that if they’re not living what matters, they’re not living.

My tips for leading a happier life would be to ask yourself these questions:

“Who do you want to be?”

“What needs to be resolved for you to be that person every day?

“What choices do you make when you feel afraid?”

“What are you NOT asking for?”

“What leadership qualities would bring about the results you most want?”

All of these questions are about personal agency. Agency is about putting your authentic self into action – actually doing what you know to do. It’s about taking what matters and creating something wildly innovative – for you, your family or your business.

Why should more business professionals consider working with a coach?

Success in business is about much more than making the numbers work. It’s an expression of who you are. How you show up.

Leadership is about being clear and confident. Walking the walk. Modelling for your team. Making sure you’re thoughtful about your actions so they align with your goals. Prioritising what actually matters in both the short and long term – fluidly. And acting on all of it at the best time. Powerful business professionals go further with less. Rather than reacting to the latest crisis, they act from their centre.

Being effective in all these areas – simultaneously – requires business professionals to be supremely self-aware and open to personal growth. Engaging a coach is an act of self-care – and it’s ambitious.

You get to work in a safe space to explore blind spots you don’t yet see.

You learn how to translate great ideas into great results.

You choose to increase your enjoyment of your work by learning how to stay out of the weeds and into inspiration.

You get traction in areas where you’ve been struggling, so you grow and learn.

You recover your agency so you feel calm, centred, and clear.

You learn to enjoy your work and your life because they complement one another.

Thoughtful, self-aware leaders look after their own inner systems. They create the best outcomes. Isn’t that the bottom line?

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